Well really Crawling Chaos doesn’t need a lot of help. He’s pretty straightforward. So instead, I will take a different tack. Crawling Chaos is a really flexible faction so it takes some ingenuity to come up with genuinely terrible strategies. But here are some ways I’ve seen is how to lose with Crawling Chaos:
A) don’t awaken Nyarlathotep till just before the game’s end, because he’s so expensive. Then do it only for the 6th spellbook.
B) forget to use Thousand Forms during the Action phase.
C) never summon Hunting Horrors. Who can afford them? Even better, summon them, but don’t get Seek & Destroy till late game.
D) enemy Great Old Ones are scary. Do not chance a bad experience. Never use Harbinger.
E) don’t get your 4 & 6 point Power spellbooks till the last turn. Then spend the whole last turn doing basically nothing while the enemy gobble up your bases.
Remember – the above is about how to LOSE Cthulhu Wars. Otherwise, you probably want to get Nyarlathotep out in the 2nd or 3rd turn, and get Hunting Horrors, plus Seek & Destroy. Get out there and punk the enemy with Harbinger. It will really help you.
All of Nyarlathotep’s monsters serve a fine purpose. In general, you don’t care about your monsters’ Combat dice, since Nyarlathotep rolls the bulk of your dice. The Monsters are mostly there for their special spellbooks.
The function of Nightgaunts is twofold – to Abduct enemies in small battles, but to be cheap meat shields when guarding Nyarlathotep. (In general you don’t want to Abduct in a battle involving Nyarlathotep – you need the extra padding.)
The Hunting Horror’s purpose is to be Nyarlathotep’s bodyguards. They can also fly in for extra help in small battles, but they really save you Power costs since you should never ever need to move them.
The Flying Polyp falls in between the Nightgaunt & Hunting Horror thematically. They are good as guards and captors, but also as excellent protection for Nyarlathotep.
One of the quickest ways to lose at this faction is not supplying Nyarlathotep with adequate defenses. This includes attacking an enemy faction who rolls a ton of combat dice (Cthulhu). Or… not taking into account the possibility of “Dread Curse of Azathoth”, and leaving Nyarlathotep alone in an Area when Opener is running rampant.
Some specific anti-Crawling Chaos tactics
Some suggestions from Boardgamegeek.
Cthulhu: I like to get unlimited battle early. Then Unsubmerge on top of Nyarlathotep with some big units. He might use Harbinger on you, but if you can take him out it’ll really set him back. Also, Blue tends to have small gates with only one cultist. Move a monster in with them and use Dreams on the cultist, thus transferring control without even a fight.
Black Goat: Blue tends to defend his gates with just one monster, which means Shub-Niggurath can Avatar into the area. Blue gets the sad choice of either swapping the cultist, leaving the gate empty, or the monster, leaving the cultist to be captured by Shub-Niggurath. Also, Necrophagy helps you jump in and grab empty gates before Blue can fly cultists there. And Ghroth can whittle those cultists down over time also. Usually the other factions will cooperate in letting you take out Blue with the full Ghroth.
Yellow Sign: The King in Yellow is peripatetic anyway, so along the way, capture Blue’s cultists. He can only be stopped by Nyarlathotep, but with Screaming Dead you can capture his dudes before he can follow you. If Nyarlathotep stands in your way, just Zingaya his cultists instead. And of course Hastur can assassinate Nyarlathotep.
The thing to keep in mind is Crawling Chaos needs to spend 10 extra power (in a chunk of 4 and 6) sometime in the game to get 2 of his spellbooks. It is this particular weakness that everyone else should look to exploit. There is NO convenient time for the Blue player to spend that power.
Finally losing his Great Old One is a crippling blow for Nyarlathotep – worse than for perhaps any other faction.